The Andrews Lodge 1817 is one of the oldest in Essex and meets at Saxon Hall on the 2nd Wed or 4th Wed in January, March, Apr, September & November. We always welcome enquiries from potential members. As one of the oldest Lodges we also have a long and glorious history which is available by clicking on the button below.
For further information please contact the secretary Michael Dallimore by email: MSDTDD@talktalk.net
Setting the scene
The concept of a new lodge which was to be called St Andrews No 1817 originated around about 1878 which was a very important time in the history of Britian. Queen Victoria had been on the throne for 42 years. Doctor Barnardo had started his children's homes seven years earlier. The National Society for the protection of Cruelty to Children was founded by Lord Shaftsbury and Rev Benjamin Waugh (he lived in Runwell Terrace, Southend during his lifetime). The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals was founded and Catherine & William Booth founded the Salvation Army during this period.
The government of the time was Tory, Benjamin Disraeli being Prime Minister for the second time. The opposition was made up of the Whig Party. Britain at this time was a powerful industrial nation with considerable exports particularly in the cotton industry. Many people were employed in metal foundries, engineering and ship building. Factories at this time being dirty and unhealthy places to work, as was housing with no efficient sanitation or rubbish collection.
Children at this time in our history were employed as cheap labour many earning 2/6d for a 80 hour week. Landowners and factory owners became prosperous and owned fine houses and carriages paid for by the cheap labour provided by the overwhelming number of poor workers. It was at this time that the Trade Union movement had its beginnings.
It was a time of great inventions; Thomas Edison developed the Electric light bulb and Joseph Swan gave his first demonstration of electric lighting. The telephone had just been invented. Thomas Cook travel agents started to arrange trips abroad for those who could afford it and for those with the time to spare as it took two weeks to sail to America.
Education was provided in the main by the Church and there was no compulsory schooling until 1880. Britain had become the most powerful nation in the world with the largest empire that had ever existed. Queen Victoria ruled 20% of the World's surface and 25% of its people. Increasing and defending this empire meant going to war and in 1879 the Zulu war and then the Boer War meant British soldiers fighting somewhere in the world in every year of Victoria’s reign.
This then was the time and the sort of world that the early and founding members of St Andrews Lodge would have been used too when they set out to create this Lodge which has seen so many changes in the World over the last 132 years.The Founding Members of St Andrews Lodge listed below were all members of Priory Lodge No 1000 which had been consecrated in 1865 and this Lodge owes a debt of gratitude to them.
There is no documentary evidence to hand to show why the Lodge was called St Andrews although there is a small parish church in Shoeburyness and as many of the early members came from the garrison speculation suggests that this was the reason.
At the first working meeting after the consecration Bro. Revd Hatch presented to the Lodge in the name of Bro. Harry Hemsworth a past master of Lodges 190 and 1193 a very ancient jewel formerly belonging to No 1 lodge of Scotland called St. Andrews or No 1 consistory of the Knights of St Andrew and of a date long anterior to the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717. This ornate and beautiful jewel has been worn on the Master’s collar to this day.
It seems that from its early beginnings that St Andrews was going to take its Lodge work very seriously as in December 1879, just six months later a proposition was carried that a “Lodge of Instruction” be formed. Todays members are staunch in the support of the early ideals of this fine Lodge.
THE CONSECRATION OF THE LODGE
The ceremony was performed, at the Cambridge Hotel Shoeburyness, on Tuesday July 22nd 1879, at 2 o clock by the R.W. Provincial Grand Master Lord Tenterden assisted by Bro. Wood Senior Warden, Bro. Shepherd Junior Warden, Bro. Pissey Inner Guard, Bro Wigram Chaplain, Bro. Harris Secretary and Bro. Lucking Director of Ceremonies. The Oration was delivered by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Br. Wigram. Lord Tenterden had been newly appointed as Provincial Grand Master and this was one of his first masonic duties.
Bro Wigram during his oration said “ We are today gathered together to consecrate a Lodge where no Lodge has been held before and this fact alone will cause the inhabitants to to watch attentively all whom they know are Freemasons, and, therefore I hope you will do your best to keep up the credit of the craft in the district and remember the honour of Freemasonry in this part of Essex rests in your hands and I hope that it will remain as pure and unsullied as you receive it this day.” Lord Tenterden was then made an honorary member of the Lodge.
The Consecration was followed by a Banquet held, in a spacious marquee, at The Cambridge Hotel at 4.30 p.m. at the grand price of 2/6d including wine. The news report of the day suggests that the guests did not leave to “a late hour after an evening of toasts, songs and glee".
Over the years the meeting places of the Lodge has changed a number of times and its venues have been
St Andrews Lodge met continuously throughout all of the war years the only restrictions being the festive board being severely hampered by stringent food rationing. In 1920 Lieut Col William Patterson was a serving soldier and had returned from France for his initiation. In 1939 he became Master of Knight Lodge 3918 in Bombay and was later appointed to be District Grand Swordbearer. He was one of the few officers to hold a permanent commission in 1936 signed be the then King Edward the Eighth. The sword that he carried throughout his distinguished career is today used by the Lodge Tyler.
During the war years the Lodge minutes confirm the following items of note
THE LODGE BANNER
The first record of the Lodge Banner is contained in the minutes of the meeting of 22nd October 1924 when a banner which had been purchased by the Lodge members was dedicated by the Lodge Chaplain W. Bro. Rev W.C. Fenn who in his oration based his remarks on the banner motto: ‘ Deum Colere, Regi Parere Discite’ - ‘ Learn to Worship God and to obey the Monarch’ In 1975 a new banner was presented to the Lodge by W. Bro. M Woolf.
The dedication of this beautiful banner was carried out by W. Bro. W.A.M. Grant the Provincial Grand Chaplain. The Master at this time being W. Bro. Les Rees. The Chaplain in his address pointed out that the Lodge had been noted for the association of Fathers and sons which gave a full meaning to the expression ‘Brotherhood of Masonry’. The original banner had the crest of St Andrews Church Shoeburyness but had been changed to that of St Andrew the patron saint of Scotland.
The banner is still in use today and is a tribute to the excellent workmanship of W. Bro Stan Harris a member of Nore Lodge and an honorary member of St Andrews Lodge of whom W. Bro. Woolf said the workmanship in the banner, if bought commercially, would have been far beyond his pocket and without Bro. Harris’s co- operation would not have been possible.As an interesting footnote the present Chaplain of the Lodge, W. Bro. Reg Cohen, was balloted for as a candidate for initiation on this day.
St Andrews Lodge has had the privilege of petitioning and creating three daughter lodges St Philip Lodge No 4221 was consecrated in 1921 and its first Master was W. Bro. J. Berry a Past Master of St Andrews and an Alderman and Mayor of Southend on Sea.The Lodge presented a carpet to St Philip Lodge to commemorate the consecration of the first Daughter Lodge.There has always been a close affinity between St Andrews and St Philip and the officers of both lodges make reciprocal visits in December and March.
Southend on Sea Lodge No 6484 was consecrated in 1947, Shoeburyness Lodge No 6665 was consecrated in 1948.
In 1901, on St George's Day Tuesday 23rd April, St Andrews Chapter was consecrated at the Cambridge Hotel Shoeburyness. The Consecration was performed by Ex Comp Ralling the Provincial Scribe Ezra, the Grand Superintendent being unwell. The Chapter has met continuously ever since and has a proud record in the Province. St Andrews Chapter has now celebrated its centenary and is proud to have many of the members of our daughter lodge Southend on Sea as officers and companions.
In January 1995 the members of St Andrews decided that it would be a fit and proper idea to have a permanent memorial to departed members and their families. Southend Borough Council had earlier set up at the Crematorium a ‘Woodland Garden’ a quiet oasis of natural vegetation and water features. It was decided that this was an ideal place for our memorial .In keeping with masonic tradition a Cedar of Lebanon tree was adopted and with a generous donation from the widow of the late W. Bro. Bob Stollery and donations from Lodge members a suitable plaque was planted with the following inscription:
'In fondest memory of Departed Brethren and family members of St Andrews Lodge 1817. May they rest in Harmony and Peace'.
The tree was dedicated in a short service by the Provincial Chaplain and has provided an area of quiet contemplation and resting place for all who are remembered and who wish to remember
ST ANDREWS CHARITY HISTORY
Over the 125 years of St Andrews history there has been a strong belief in the principle of Charity and it is the proud holder of the following:
SOUTHEND MASONIC WELFARE TRUST
No history could possibly be complete without mentioning the dedication of members of this Lodge who took it upon themselves to entertain the RMBI annuitants for two weeks holiday. This led in 1973 to the formation of the above trust registered with the Charity Commission.Four of the founding members were from St Andrews namely W. Bros Morry Woolf, Ronnie Woolf, Sonny Leigh and Guy Jerman.
The trust grew rapidly and now proudly incorporates the whole of Essex. St Andrews still has a strong connection with the trust, VW Bro Fred Thornback and W. Bro Graham Halsey being active in its administration and the Lodge itself supporting its work. Many masons and their dependants have been pleased to avail themselves of the therapeutic and recreational aids that the Trust provides as well as the entertainment and
We have now come to another milestone in the history of St Andrews Lodge and hope that we can look back 25years, to the last important event in our history, the Centenary of the Lodge, with some degree of satisfaction. It is appropriate to glance at the following list of Past Masters all of whom have left some part of the own individual personality and ideals in promoting freemasonry and this Lodge in particular.
There are others, of course, who for whatever reason have never become Master of this Lodge but have nevertheless served it well with their support and encouragement. I am sure that leaving the smooth running of the Lodge in the capable hands of those who follow will ensure that this Lodge will reach the next milestone with the same pride and confidence that has served it well in the last 125 years.